Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lib Dem 'green' claims

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Wailur Rahman and Zahir Malik claim that the Lib Dems have been ‘campaigning on the environment long before the Green Party was created’ and have a ‘strong track record of delivering on the green agenda in Bristol’ (‘Credibility challenged’ letter, Post 19 April). If this is the case and it’s been effective then Bristol would be greener and more sustainable but total carbon emissions per person has risen to 12 tonnes compared to a sustainable level of 1 or 2 tonnes and this is in part caused by the atrocious traffic levels, poor public transport and huge waste of energy from Bristol’s homes and other buildings. Our carbon footprint would be made worse by Lib Dem plans to flog acres of Bristol’s green spaces against the wishes of local people!

They say the ‘idea of a transport hub at Temple Meads is not a new idea; it was even looked at when Avon County Council was in existence’. If the idea has indeed long been around and has been actively and effectively worked on we’d have a transport hub at Temple Meads – but we haven’t. If, as the Lib Dems claim, their commitment to tackling climate change is strong why haven’t they used the power and influence the have had over the years to bring about this and other changes?

The only logical conclusion is either that the Lib Dems have not been committed, not been campaigning, not been delivering or that the work they do is seriously ineffective – or both! The same applies to Labour and Tory claims. Thus, the Greens are challenging them and Lib Dem local election candidates in particular find their position is seriously under threat.

Green Councillors achievements: Kirklees excellent energy efficiency example

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Energy efficiency reduces fuel poverty, tackles climate change, creates employment, generates money for the local economy, produces warm homes with lower, affordable fuel bills, less misery, ill-health and social exclusion - and lowers winter deaths due to the cold.

Green Councillors are leading the way in developing energy efficiency. In Kirklees, Green Councillors delivered a project to provide free loft and cavity insulation to every house that could benefit.
They are providing loans for more expensive insulation measures, loans which only have to be paid back when the property is sold again. Council officers in Kirklees calculate for every £1 that their council spent on a similar insulation scheme, a further £4 was generated in the local economy.

Green Party Tackling fuel poverty, addressing climate change and creating jobs

Green Party | Caroline Lucas urges voters to go Green on May 5th

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I like the examples of what Green local councillors have achieved here*. In Bristol the Green Party presence on the council has: initiated the climate change select committee, vice chaired by Cllr Charlie Bolton which resulted in over 40 policies being adopted by the council; initiated the sustainable transport select committee, chaired by Cllr Charlie Bolton, which also had many policies adopted; produced the motion which led to the saving of the Bristol-Bath railway path; tried to get Bristol councillors to be eligible for ‘recall’, giving people a way to get rid of them; produced a policy motion to the council aimed at saving residential caretakers; gained extra money for energy efficiency measures; proposed a motion to decentralise the distribution of Section 106 money, now taken up by the council.

*Greens in local government have produced alternative budgets showing that savings can be made without cutting vital public services.

In Brighton, for example, Greens helped persuade the ruling Tory administration to drop plans to rip out a cycle path at a cost of over £1million.

In Oxford, Leader of the Green Group, Cllr David Williams put forward a costed budget which would have reversed some of Labour's spending cuts. Greens wanted to cut the number of senior council officers and take back their recent 23% pay increase.

Lancaster Green Party's local manifesto puts forward its vision for a fairer, greener society and explains in detail what Lancaster Green Councillors have done for their city. Local Cllr Andrew Kay says, "We will not stand by and watch the rich get richer, while ordinary people lose their jobs and the services they depend upon."

In Norwich, where the Green Party is the second largest group on the Council, Greens have invested in renewable energy, spoken out against the crippling cuts and lobbied Government to deal with the financial difficulties in a fairer way.

Green Party Caroline Lucas urges voters to go Green on May 5th

Public now to be consulted on council handling of town green applications

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Pressure from a range of green campaigners has helped bring about public consultation on how the council handles town green applications. An excellent contribution to local democracy by those campaigners.

PLANS to take some town green applications out of the hands of independent inspectors have been put on hold.
The city council's public rights of way and greens committee yesterday agreed to ask the public before deciding on a rule change that could have seen some of the bids to protect open spaces from development decided entirely by a council sub-committee...